Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Cricket's betting controversies

Allegations concerning gambling have cast a shadow over cricket for many years, with the 1990s seeing several proven cases of match fixing crop up, while countless other rumours surfaced without being proven.

The problem seemed to have halted after the International Cricket Council set up an Anti Corruption and Security Unit in 2000. But, with the emergence of spread betting, the issue seems to have reared its ugly head again.

Hereare some previous high-profile examples:

Mark Waugh/Shane Warne

Waugh and Warne were questioned after being given money by 'John the bookmaker' for information on pitch and weather conditions. The players received fines from the Australian Cricket Board after an independent enquiry by Rob O'Regan QC concluded the duo were not fully informed of the dangers of interacting with bookmakers. They were warned that future misdemeanours could result in bans.

Saleem Malik

Match-fixing accusations surrounded Malik for much of his career. After captaining Pakistan on their tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe, he was suspended pending an enquiry into bribery. Initially he was cleared but, after playing his last Test in January 1999, he, along with medium-pacer Ata-ur-Rehman, became the first players to be banned for match fixing. Their punishments were eventually overturned.

Hansie Cronje

In what is undoubtedly the most famous case of its kind, South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was given a lifetime ban from playing or coaching cricket after admitting he had received a sum of money from a London bookmaker to 'forecast results'. It emerged that he offered players, such as Herschelle Gibbs, money to perform poorly. After unsuccessfully challenging his penalty in September 2001, Cronje tragically died in a plane crash the following year.

Mohammad Azharuddin

Azharuddin's match-fixing exploits came to light when Cronje indicated the former India captain was the person who introduced him to the bookmakers. The Central Bureau of Investigation's report into the Cronje affair then claimed Azharuddin had "contributed substantially towards the expanding bookie/player nexus in Indian cricket", before the batsman admitted fixing three ODIs. He was banned for life, thus finishing his career on 99 Tests.

Marlon Samuels

West Indies batsman Samuels received a two-year ban in 2008 after being found guilty of "receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute". Indian police alleged that he passed on team information to a known bookmaker.

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